This chapter examines the emergence of Confucian humanism, including the development of a self-consciousness of humanity (the human nature that at once is determined by its biology and transcends it). It first considers Confucius's work of preservation and transmission, which was built on the foundation of the new, self-conscious explanation he provided for the tradition of rites and music. This self-conscious explanation is found in Confucius's discourse on “humaneness.” The chapter also discusses the perfection of the human personality through the arts and music, along with the apprehension of mortality which leads to the “emotionalization of time” in the arts and literature. Progressing from Confucius through Mencius, Xunzi, and the Book of Changes, the chapter explores how the Chinese tradition develops a sense of dynamic, moral (or virile) beauty. It shows that Confucian aesthetics is the foundation and main current of Chinese aesthetics.
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